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Parents Role in a Student’s Academic Success


Apart from the financial provisions, there are roles and responsibilities that parents must take seriously in the lives of their children and that includes academic responsibilities. This is to ensure the academic success of the children.

Parents Role in a Student's Academic Success

Parental involvement or engagement not only enhances academic performance but also leaves a positive influence on student attitude and behaviour towards life in general. Parent engagement is simply when parents and teachers share a responsibility to help their children learn and meet educational goals. Parent engagement happens when teachers involve parents in school meetings or events, and parents volunteer their support at home and at school. In this way, they make a commitment. Paying attention to your ward’s education is beyond the preschool level.

Parental involvement should be at all age levels. Many believe or make the mistake of assuming that when a child gets to senior high school or the university, he or she is mature enough to take care of himself, but research proves otherwise. Studies have shown that the involvement of parents of middle and high school students is equally important and it has a significant bearing on the overall performance of the student in school and after school. The stories of dropouts, touts and other social ills amongst younger children would be reduced, probably rarely seen, if parents pay attention to every part of their children’s life till they are old enough to handle it themselves.

A child can even have the confidence to consider going to college and taking it more seriously when parents show interest in the child’s academic achievements, talk with the child about the benefits of a college education and give the child the space to share their feelings and thoughts about academic and other social issues bothering them in school. In fact, teachers also benefit from parental involvement because when parents show interest in their ward’s performance, some of the challenges in the classrooms are reduced and even appreciated as they can relate to the challenges the teachers face in the classroom. For instance, parents would make sure their kid’s study their books and do their homework, so their grades can improve and lessen the work for the teacher.  Parents develop a greater appreciation for the challenges that teachers face in the classroom.

Parents also get a form of satisfaction too because they are also involved in the activities of their education and future. They have a better understanding of the school curriculum and activities and can tell if they are comfortable with the quality of education their child is receiving. Gonzalez-Pienda and other researchers in  2002 revealed that parental support criteria were developed according to six dimensions that are strongly associated with students’ behaviour at school and the attitude towards learning.  “The six dimensions are:

  •  parents’ expectations about their children’s achievement,
  • parents’ expectations about their children’s capacity to achieve important goals,
  • parents’ behaviours that reveal interest in their children’s school work,
  • parents’ degree of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their children’s level of school achievement,
  • parents’ level and type of help provided when their children do homework, and
  • parents’ reinforcement behaviours of their children’s achievements.

It is also true that the nature of parental support changes at different age levels of children because as they advance in age, they begin to take responsibility for themselves. A study indicated that those students whose parents have high expectations for their ward’s academic activities performed better from the beginning of their academic career and accelerated faster in their academic progress during the transition period of middle school to higher institutions. Some studies also further show that a parent’s participation in a child’s education may inspire the parent to further his or her own education.

In this article, we would discuss the roles and responsibilities of parents to ensure a student’s academic success:

Without further Ado, here are the roles parent’s are expected to play to ensure the academic success of their children/students:

 1. Spend Valuable Time

It is the responsibility of the parents to give adequate time to their children until they are old enough to take care of themselves but sadly, many parents neglect their children while building their careers.

However, spending valuable time with children is one way parents contribute in the academic success of their children. This time can be used to have effective communication about school activities, visit the children’s schools, speak with the teachers and lots more. A research was carried out to ascertain the performance of children of working mothers and Housewives. The study revealed that the children of the housewives do better academically since they have the time for them as against a career woman who do not have.

Social vices can also be linked to the inability of parents to pay attention to the academic and social affairs of their wards. Hence, it is important for parents dedicate a considerable amount of time during the week and weekends to their academic activities. It breeds trusts and openness between both parties.

2. Enrolment in Quality and Affordable Schools

The type of school a student enrols is determined by the parents. It is the responsibility of a parent to make sure their wards have access to quality education. Therefore, the onus lies on the parents to carefully research and discover schools that reflect the goals and aspirations of their wards and at the same time affordable. Note that the quality of a school is not determined by how expensive. There are countless stories of great men and women who only attended public schools but turned out to be very relevant in the society. It boils down to the goal and mindset of the student in question. And that can be shaped by the parents and choice of school.

3. Emotional Support Systems

Young adults also go through one emotional or psychological stress at one point in their lives and the response of a parent to their offspring’s emotion while they are younger influences their ability to deal with stressful situations as young adults. It is assumed that an individual’s ability to handle an emotional crisis in school, amongst peers is dependent on the strategies adopted by the parent while the child in question was younger. Therefore, parents should give their children the liberty to express their emotions-both negative and positive. They would most certainly produce children who are able to communicate their feelings confidently in the open and within.

A study was conducted by Jinhong Guo, Sylvie Mrug and David Knight [1] of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It was aimed to investigate the gender and ethnic differences between parental emotion socialization and physiological and psychological responses to stress and 973 young adults took part in the study where they completed a social stress test and were measured for heart rate, blood pressure and salivary cortisol. The results revealed that individuals with emotionally supportive parents were able to put more effort into overcoming the stressor while emotionally unsupportive parents resulted in increased negativity during the stress test. Therefore, when parents and other caregivers are able to support their young children, their lives are enriched and this is an advantage to their school activities. Parents can achieve this by asking questions, being observant and creating an atmosphere for effective communication.

4. Provide Financial Support

It is believed that since parents do not have a direct influence on their ward’s learning activities, they are expected to provide financial and other material support and the level of support is dependent on the financial stance of the parent.

Research has revealed that adolescents who still have parents who plan to pay their fees have a direct effect on the performance of the adolescents in school. A student who is financially secure and does not have to be bothered about when to pay school fees or how to get finance to settle other pressing needs like books, groceries etc, would most certainly be able to concentrate and perform better in school than a student who struggles to make end meets.

5. Build a relationship with the school owners or teachers

It is the responsibility of any parent to know and create cordial relationships with the teachers of their wards irrespective of class or level. This gives the student a sense of responsibility and caution. The two-way communication between the students and the teachers is mutually beneficial because by having more contact with parents, teachers learn more about students’ needs and home environment, which is information they can apply toward better meeting those needs. This implies for secondary and primary school levels. This can be achieved through Parent conferences, Parent-teacher organizations, Phone calls, Parent newsletters, Workshops for parents, E-mail or school website. However, there should be clarity and consistency in this type of communication or else the goal would be defeated.

6. Monitor the Academic Progress

Parents have a big role in tracking the academic activities and progress of their wards irrespective of level. It is not just the responsibility of the parent as many have wrongly presumed.

 7. Engage in Effective Communication

This is a more crucial role for parents. Communication is key in any relationship. Parents can ascertain the feelings, choice and challenges a student is facing by simply communicating. That is why it is important that parents create a conducive atmosphere for effective communication. As a student grows academically, other areas of their lives grow too and they are making critical life decisions. It is therefore important that parents have listening ears, avoid criticisms or judgemental statements etc. They feel comfortable, free and can share anything even about their academic and emotional challenges when they have parents that can share in their burden. It creates bonds and builds confidence which can boost academic performance.

Bottom Line

In summary, apart from financial commitments, parents have other vital roles to play in the academic activities and performance of their wards irrespective of levels. They must create a conducive atmosphere for communication, monitor academic progress, be emotional support systems, enrol them in quality and safe schools and lots more. All these will definitely have impact on the academic success of the student.


[1] Guo, J., Mrug, S., & Knight, D. C. (2017). Emotion socialization as a predictor of physiological and psychological responses to stress. Physiology & Behavior, 175, 119–129. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.03.046

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